Those who are into custards, like your's truly, have probably had a chance to create Sabayon. Not to be confused with just the mere egg yolk/sugar mixture used to thickened the custards, this Italian dessert, also known as "Zabaione," goes a step beyond by combining alcohol with the mixture for a variation of the dessert sauce.

Sabayon is made from whisking egg yolks, sugar, and wine (marsala, White, or Sherry) in a stainless steel bowl while cooking them over a saucepan or a double boiler. The result is a sweet custard sauce with a thick yet foamy consistency.

The dessert is served in a champagne coupe and can be enjoyed either warm or chilled with fruit. If chilled, it's usually covered with Creme Chantilly aka whipped cream.

Today's recipe will reveal exactly how to go about making a Sabayon and serving it up, both warm and chilled, for friends and family. Also included are some fun and interesting variations to try that are as just as simple.

The recipe

Sabayon Ingredients:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Marsala wine/White/Sherry

Optional Creme Chantilly Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Fill a double boiler or a medium saucepan with water. If a chilled Sabayon is desired, fill a bowl with ice cubes to make an ice bath. Set aside by chilling in the refrigerator along with a stainless steel bowl for the Creme Chantilly.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large stainless steel bowl until it forms ribbons.
  3. Transfer the bowl over a saucepan filled 1/3 up with simmering water or in a double boiler over low heat and continue whisking. When the mixture turns firm, gradually whisk in the wine a teaspoon at a time. Continue whisking for 10 minutes or until the Sabayon turns thick.
  4. For a warm Sabayon, transfer to glasses and serve immediately. For a chilled sabayon, place the bowl over the ice bath and continue whisking until the Sabayon turns cold. As an optional glaze, prepare Creme Chantilly by whisking the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in the chilled bowl until soft peaks form. top each glass with the Creme Chantilly.

Serves: Up to 8 glasses


  • Espresso - Combine 1/2 cup brewed espresso with the egg yolks and sugar before cooking over the double boiler during Step 1.
  • Rum - Substitute rum for the Marsala.
  • Champagne - Whisk 2 cups of dry champagne along with the Marsala into the mixture while it cooks in the double boiler during Step 2.
  • Berries - Add 3 or 4 strawberries, raspberries or blueberries to each glass before or after the Sabayon is poured in during the last Step.